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The Repressed Memory Epidemic

How It Happened and What We Need to Learn from It

Authors: Pendergrast, Mark

  • Offers a comprehensive overview of the concept of repressed memories 
  • ​Provides a social history that documents key events that have an affect on modern psychology and psychotherapy
  • Discusses the science of memory that has re-surged in modern times 
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Buy this book

eBook $109.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-63375-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $139.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-63374-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book offers a comprehensive overview of the concept of repressed memories. It provides a history and context that documents key events that have had an effect on the way that modern psychology and psychotherapy have developed. Chapters provide an overview of how human memory functions and works and examine facets of the misguided theories behind repressed memory. The book also examines the science of the brain, the reconstructive nature of human memory, and studies of suggestibility. It traces the present-day resurgence of a belief in repressed memories in the general public as well as among many clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, “body workers,” and others who offer counseling. It concludes with legal and professional recommendations and advice for individuals who deal with or have dealt with the psychotherapeutic practice of repressed memory therapy.

Topics featured in this text include:

  • The modern diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) (once called MPD)
  • The “Satanic Panic” of the 1980s and its relation to repressed memory therapy.
  • The McMartin Preschool Case and the “Day Care Sex Panic.”
  • A historical overview from the Great Witch Craze to Sigmund Freud’s theories, spanning the 16th to 19th centuries.
  •  An exploration of the cultural context that produced the repressed memory epidemic of the 1990s.
  • The repressed memory movement as a religious sect or cult.

The Repressed Memory Epidemic will be of interest to researchers and clinicians as well as undergraduate and graduate students in the fields of psychology, sociology, cultural studies, religion, and anthropology. 

About the authors

Mark Pendergrast is the author of Victims of Memory; For God, Country and Coca-Cola; Uncommon Grounds; Mirror Mirror; Inside the Outbreaks; Japan’s Tipping Point; Beyond Fair Trade; City on the Verge; and three children’s books.  See www.markpendergrast.com for reviews.  One critic called Pendergrast “the ultimate free-lance journalist with an eclectic mind.” He calls himself an independent scholar, although he has worked on five college campuses. Pendergrast was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, the fourth of seven children in a family that valued civil rights, the environment, sailing, reading, and games of chase and charades. He earned a B.A. in English literature from Harvard, taught high school and elementary school, then went back to Simmons College for a masters in library science and worked as an academic librarian—all the while writing freelance articles for newspapers and magazines. In 1991, he began writing books full time.

Pendergrast’s books have been published in 15 languages. For God, Country & Coca-Cola was named a notable book of the year by the New York Times, and Discover Magazine chose Mirror Mirror as one of the top science books of the year. Pendergrast has given speeches to professional groups, business associations, and college audiences in the United States, Canada, the U.K., and Germany. He has appeared on dozens of television shows, including the Today ShowCBS This Morning, and CNN, and has been interviewed on over 100 radio programs, including All Things Considered, Marketplace, and many other public radio shows. He lives in Colchester, Vermont.

Reviews

“Mark Pendergrast’s The Repressed Memory Epidemic does a masterful job of assessing the myth of repressed and recovered memories as well as the devastating damage done by those who promulgate the myth.” (James McGaugh, Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California, Irvine, author of Memory and Emotion)

“As Mark Pendergrast shows with new research and other evidence, many therapists continue using methods that create false and perniciously harmful memories in their clients.  The Repressed Memory Epidemic is essential, if scary, reading, and it won’t allow us to forget.” (Carol Tavris, social psychologist, co-author, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) and other books)

“During the 1980s and 1990s, I was astonished and appalled when members of my own profession of psychiatry contributed to one of the most harmful psychological crazes that has ever occurred, starting in the United States and spreading to most of the ‘civilized’ world.  The idea was that people ‘repressed’ or ‘dissociated’ years of traumatic memories of horrendous abuse, and some were convinced they had multiple internal personalities.  In The Repressed Memory Epidemic, Mark Pendergrast has captured and explained this on-going epidemic in all its full horror.” (Harold Merskey, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, Western University, London, Ontario and author of The Analysis of Hysteria)

"In the European witch craze, thousands of people were tortured and killed based on spectral evidence. You would think in this Age of Science that we would not fall for such nonsense, but as Mark Pendergrast reveals in this exposé of a modern day witch hunt, ‘repressed memories’ are today’s spectral evidence, and they too exist exclusively in the minds of modern inquisitors, who have ruined lives and destroyed families in the name of something nonexistent. To find out how this could happen today, read The Repressed Memory Epidemic and be prepared to be shocked.”  (Michael Shermer, Publisher Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist Scientific American, Presidential Fellow Chapman University, author Why People Believe Weird Things, The Moral Arc, Heavens on Earth)

“As war seems increasingly more removed through its virtualization and yet feels more immediate through video games and web-accessible brutalities, Tucker’s book provides key guidelines for understanding the role that popular films play in mapping the spaces of ‘virtual war,’ and, more importantly, for developing ways to complicate the militarized violence that permeates US culture.” (Susan Jeffords, Professor of English and Women Studies, University of Washington, USA)

“Many people believe that ‘recovered memory therapy’ is a past aberration of the mental-health establishment, one that fueled the moral panic over sexual abuse in the 1990s and then subsided. But as Mark Pendergrast shows with new research and other evidence, many therapists, under the national radar, continue using methods that create false and perniciously harmful memories in their clients. The Repressed Memory Epidemic is essential, if scary, reading. It won’t allow us to forget.” (Carol Tavris, social psychologist, co-author, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) and other books)

Buy this book

eBook $109.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-63375-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $139.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-63374-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Repressed Memory Epidemic
Book Subtitle
How It Happened and What We Need to Learn from It
Authors
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-63375-6
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-63375-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-63374-9
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXXII, 628
Topics